Reserving Medical Disease Clinic
Electrolyte imbalances include the minerals you find in your food . . .
examples include: sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium. Commercially they can be sold as over-the-counter supplements/vitamins, or they can be prescribed as prescription drugs. If either electrolyte(s) are too high or too low, the consequences can be serious.
A common laboratory test called a CMP (Complete Metabolic Panel) will measure the levels of these minerals in your blood (commonly known as electrolytes). Some of these minerals are also measured in your urine.
The article below is an example of a mineral we are all too familiar with – sodium chloride, also known as salt.
Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt.
Salt is an essential mineral that our body doesn’t know how to make itself. A blood test (CMP) can determine if your sodium level is too low (<125 mEg/L ). If this happens you can have seizures and die. A high value (>150 mEg/L ) indicates you are dehydrated or dry.
Sodium in nature is not the only mineral in ‘salt.’ Sodium can be found along with carbon, calcium, iron, sulfur, zinc, manganese, potassium, copper , and other minerals. If you go to a well stock grocery store you will find different types of salts in different colors, from different countries. There are salt mines that still exist from 500 years ago in certain parts of the world. Generations of salt farmers carry on a trade passed down to this day.
Our life depends on a certain amount of sodium and some of us are genetically made to handle more salt than others. Those who retain more sodium are less likely to be hypotensive or dehydrated. A theory as to why African Americans may be more prone to excessive salt causing leg swelling and high blood pressure.
It is important to understand why we recommend limiting sodium in the American diet. There is a high level of sodium in almost every single food product that you can find in a grocery store, from can goods to package foods. And when the industry creates table salt (that ‘refine salt’ like ‘fortified milk) this process has stripped away some valuable minerals/nutrients from the product. Manufacturers attempt to add some nutrients back to the final product, albeit not all of it.
The average recommended daily sodium intake is:
3,426 mg (approximately 1 ½ teaspoons of salt)
1,500 mg (approximately 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt) which is recommended daily.
2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) which is the daily maximum above which sodium becomes unhealthy for most adults.
**180 to 550 mg is how much our bodies need**
If we choose a better quality of this mineral-alone with the other trace minerals- we only need a pinch of salt while cooking or afterward to sprinkle on top of our meal.
I train my clients not to cook with salt. This way they learn a new flavor profile while using other spices AND by measuring one teaspoon in a baby cup to use for the entire day, my clients can visualize the amount of sodium intake.
I briefly go over food labeling but as stated in another section I am not trying to teach my clients biochemistry. I teach you how to think about food and your body differently.